For years, experts have advised that in the colder months, drivers should be changing their tyres to dedicated winter tyres, thanks to the fact they offer better grip in cold weather conditions. This is due to features like special rubber compounds to resist hardening when the temperature drops below 7C and optimised tread patterns for snow conditions. However, one of the major manufacturers is looking to change the game for winter tyres.
Some of the reasons drivers might not want to change tyres every winter include the fact that it can be expensive to buy two separate sets of tyres, while having them changed can be inconvenient. Also, storing winter tyres for the rest of the year can be problematic.
However, Michelin has announced a new tyre that they hope could solve some of these issues for consumers. The revolutionary MICHELIN CrossClimate is not just a standard all weather tyre, which are essentially still winter tyres with a slight modification in their composition to improve summer performance. In fact, it isn't an all weather tyre at all, it is a summer tyre that is adapted for ideal performance in winter.
The problem that Michelin has looked to address is that many all weather tyres do not stop the vehicle as well on a dry road in summer conditions as they do in winter. This becomes a problem when 65 per cent of European motorists are using the same tyres throughout the year, compromising their safety in winter conditions. And with testing carried out by TUV, DEKRA and UTAC, the MICHELIN CrossClimate seems to be doing its job.
With 150 engineers working on the design and testing, industrialisation and production of the MICHELIN CrossClimate and over 1,000 tests on materials, the tread pattern and architecture having taken place, it's clear to see that Michelin has put the work into creating the optimum product.
In dry summer conditions, it was found that the MICHELIN CrossClimate tyre's braking distance from 100kmh was on a par with its own MICHELIN Energy Saver Plus summer tyres and significantly better than a range of winter tyres and a range of all weather tyres in summer conditions.
In wet and wintry conditions, braking was in line with the performance of winter and all weather tyres and slightly better than the performance of competitor's summer tyres.
And even in snowy conditions, despite the MICHELIN CrossClimate primarily being a summer tyre, it performed very well. Tested climbing a snowy hill from 5kmh to 30kmh, it was found to be equal to the winter tyre, better than the all weather tyre and vastly improved on the performance of other summer tyres.
In order to make sure the tyres performed well across Europe, in order to meet drivers' needs, the MICHELIN CrossClimate was tested in seven different countries; Germany, Canada, Spain, Finland, France, Poland and Sweden.
To achieve this game-changing performance, Michelin has made use of an all-new rubber compound that it said improves the grip on the road. The tread has been designed as a three-pronged V shape that acts like a claw, while the tyre also has a high silica content for low rolling resistance.
All of this new technology means that the MICHELIN CrossClimate is the first summer tyre to achieve a 3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake certification, making it a fantastic proposition for the UK market. Summer tyre performance, with winter tyre performance for those occasional snowy days.
Posted by Danielle Barge